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The Pritchard House, a historical house on the property
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Kernstown Battlefield

610 Battle Park Drive Winchester, Virginia 22601
Open 2nd Saturday in May through last Sunday in October (Sat. 10-4 & Sun. 12-4).
540-869-2896 3 hours
May 2013 Summer
$0-9 Winchester Virginia
Website Historical Battlefields
First review
Kernstown Battlefield is a historical site owned by a nonprofit association and located in Winchester, Virginia. It includes parts of the battlefields of the First and Second Battles of Kernstown from the US Civil War fought in 1862 and 1864, respectively. The site has a number of farm buildings, including a barn that now serves as a museum, as well as the historic Pritchard House, which survived both engagements. Although the site is about 300 acres, it contains only small portions of the historical battlefields.

First Kernstown was General Stonewall Jackson’s initial battle in his famous Valley Campaign. He attacked a larger Union force based partially on faulty intelligence and his troops were later forced from the field. However he attained a larger war aim of keeping Union troops in the area and away from Richmond. The second Kernstown was a major victory for Confederate General Jubal Early, but it led to a retaliatory scorched earth strategy under Union General Philip Sheridan and the South’s subsequent loss of the entire Shenandoah Valley.

The site is run by volunteers and visiting hours are limited. The visit included a stop at the museum, a tour of the Pritchard House and a walking tour of the grounds. It took about 3 hours but could be done in 2 if the house tour is skipped. The house tour provided some insights about the Pritchard family and home’s ongoing renovation, but there was not much to see as the house is still dilapidated. The fact that it is still standing at all though is a testament to the hard work of the association. More interesting is the museum, which included battlefield maps, some replica weapons and thorough descriptions of the battles. The walking tour was short and of limited interest except for some interpretive signs. The hill behind the Pritchard House was the most impressive part. Since these battles were relatively minor and the park is smaller, only those keenly interested in Civil War history will appreciate a visit here.
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